The Mayan Rivieraone of the tourist jewels of Mexicoattracts travelers from all over the world with its unique combination of natural wonders, archaeological treasures and a vibrant cultural and entertainment offer. At the end of 2023, more than 20 million international tourists visited the Riviera Maya, of which about 200,000 were Spanish, according to the Ministry of Tourism (Sectur) of Mexico.

This destination in Yucatan Peninsula offers a variety of activities that satisfy all tastes and ages. These are 15 essential plans to fully enjoy the Riviera Maya, although there are many more.

1. Chichén Itzá: one of the Wonders of the World

Aerial view of Chichen Itza.
Aerial view of Chichen Itza.

Chichen Itzadeclared Heritage of humanity by unesco, is one of the biggest attractions of the Riviera Maya. This ancient Mayan ceremonial center will surprise you with the majestic Kukulkan Pyramid, the Great Ball Court and the El Caracol Observatory. Exploring this archaeological site is a fascinating dive into Mayan history and culture. Chichen Itza is one of the new 7 Wonders of the World.


Tourists in Chichen Itza.


This is the fine you will have to pay to climb Mexican monuments like Chichén Itzá

2. Tulum Ruins: incredible views of the Caribbean

Tulum Ruins, Quintana Roo
Tulum Ruins, Quintana Roo

Located on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the ruins of Tulum (which translates as The Wall) offer a unique experience that combines archeology and stunning coastal landscapes. Among its most notable structures are The Castle and the Temple of the Frescoes. This is one of the most photogenic places in the Riviera Maya.

3. Xcaret, a spectacular ecological park

Mayan indigenous people participate in the ceremonial center of Xcaret, in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, in the ancient Mayan journey.
Mayan indigenous people participate in the ceremonial center of Xcaret, in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, in the ancient Mayan journey.

Xcaret It is the most famous ecological park in Mexico, where you can enjoy more than 50 attractions in a spectacular natural environment. From swimming in underground rivers to delighting you with the Xcaret México Espectacular show, this park offers an unforgettable cultural and entertainment experience. Numerous wild species from the Yucatan live in Xcaret: parrots and parrots, sea turtles, manatees, flamingos, exotic fish

4. Cenotes, natural freshwater wells

Cenote Oxman.
Cenote Oxman.

Cenotes are natural freshwater wells which were sacred to the Mayans. In the Yucatan Peninsula there are 6,000 cenotes with fresh water, with depths of between 3 and 10 meters. And these 6,000 cenotes are connected by underground rivers. In the Riviera Maya, you can swim, snorkel or dive in these magical bodies of water surrounded by lush nature.

Yaaxmul It is one of the best known, but there are many more to discover in this region. Yax-Muul, or green hill in the Mayan language, offers two spectacular cenotes considered among the most beautiful in the Riviera Maya. Its waters are refreshing and the interior rock formations range from stalactites and stalagmites even an experience with a shaman (Mayan priest), who “cleanses” the internal evils of tourists and locals with medicinal plants, Mayan phrases, and a session by the purifying fire. Afterwards, bathing in the cool water of the cenote causes an extremely pleasant contrast.

5. Akumal and swimming with sea turtles

Akumal Bay Turtle.
Akumal Bay Turtle.

Akumal, the second longest reef in the world, It is famous for its calm waters and rich marine life, especially the sea ​​turtles. This is the perfect place for snorkel and swim alongside these incredible creatures in their natural habitat. However, you can always take a bath or lie down in the sun, as there are several beach bars to cool off and relax.


Moconá Falls (Argentina)


Moconá Falls, the spectacular and little-known waterfalls of the Argentine jungle

6. Cancun and its incredible white sand beaches

The Mexican city of Cancun closes the top 15 of the most affordable destinations in 2024.
The Mexican city of Cancun closes the top 15 of the most affordable destinations in 2024.

With their White sand beachesluxurious resorts, vibrant night life and varied activities, Cancun is the heart of the Mexican Caribbean. From exploring shopping malls to discovering nearby archaeological gems, Cancun has something for everyone.

7. Playa del Carmen and shopping on Fifth Avenue

Playa del Carmen (Mexico).
Playa del Carmen (Mexico).

This lively tourist destination is known for its Fifth Avenuefilled with shops, restaurants and bars. Playa del Carmen also offers relaxing beach clubs and a cosmopolitan atmosphere perfect for any type of traveler.

8. Holbox, a paradise island

Just two hours from Cancun, Holbox is the island of pink flamingos.
Just two hours from Cancun, Holbox is the island of pink flamingos.

Holbox is a paradise island where the waters of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico merge. It is ideal for those looking for a relaxed atmosphere and in contact with naturewith beautiful beaches and a charming fishing village.

9. Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

A small boat with tourists in the Sian Ka'ann Natural Reserve, in the Riviera Maya.
A small boat with tourists in the Sian Ka’ann Natural Reserve, in the Riviera Maya.

This nature reserve, World Heritageoffers the opportunity to explore mangroves, coral reefs and spot wildlife diverse as 300 different types of birds, including pelicans, cormorants, herons or frigate birds, as well as dolphins, turtles and even crocodiles. Sian Ka’an is perfect for nature and adventure lovers.

10. Cozumel Island, ideal for diving lovers

A Caribbean island in the Riviera Maya known for its warm climate and crystal clear waters ideal for scuba diving.  Of course, the housing market is limited.  The monthly budget for a couple, including rent, does not exceed €1,600.
A Caribbean island in the Riviera Maya.

Famous for its amazing dive sites, Cozumel is the ideal destination for diving enthusiasts. The island also offers beautiful beaches and vibrant local life worth exploring.

11. Xel-Há Park

Xel-Há is a natural water park where you can enjoy activities like snorkeling, zip lining, and bike rides. This park offers a spectacular setting to explore the marine life and natural beauty of the Riviera Maya.


Mayan Riviera.


Travel itinerary to Riviera Maya, the most exotic and paradisiacal area of ​​Mexico

12. Coba

Aerial view of the ruins of Cobá, on the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico).
Aerial view of the ruins of Cobá, on the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico).

Cobá is an archaeological site that It houses the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan Peninsula. Upload your 42 meters and 120 steps will reward you with a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding jungle.

13. Bacalar

Lagoon of the Seven Colors in Bacalar, Mexico
Lagoon of the Seven Colors in Bacalar, Mexico

The Magic Town of Bacalar It is known for its spectacular Lagoon of Seven Colors. Here you can relax in its calm waters, go kayaking and explore cenotes and unique rock formations.

14. Allen Point

Punta Allen is a small fishing village within the Sian Ka’an Reserve. It is ideal for a quiet getaway and offers excellent opportunities for fishing, diving and enjoying nature in its purest state.


Bats flying in the Murciélagos Volcano, Campeche (Mexico).


The Murciélagos Volcano, a surprising cave with more than two million specimens of this animal

15. Isla Mujeres

This Magical Town is one of the best kept secrets of the Mexican Caribbean.  If you are looking for a place to relax, here you will find panoramic pools, hammocks and loungers with movie views, as this island was the hideout of famous pirates.
This Magical Town is one of the best kept secrets of the Mexican Caribbean. If you are looking for a place to relax, here you will find panoramic pools, hammocks and loungers with movie views, as this island was the hideout of famous pirates.

A short ferry ride from Cancun, Isla Mujeres is famous for its idyllic beaches and its relaxed atmosphere. Here you can enjoy water activities, explore the underwater beauty of the Garrafon Reef National Park and relax in Playa Norte.

The Riviera Maya is a destination that combines sun, beach, history and adventure. No matter how long you stay, there will always be something new and exciting to discover in this Mexican paradise.


It is one of the best archaeological sites on the planet, but the commercialization of the place does not help.  So much so that it can be overwhelming to walk through the area due to the insistence of the vendors, which makes the visit somewhat artificial.


Travel recommendations to Mexico: everything you need to know if you are going for the first time

How to go and where to sleep

The entrance door to the Mayan Riviera It is the international airport of Cancun. The Riviera Maya serves a wide range of tourists, from all-inclusive luxury resorts and boutique hotels to eco-friendly accommodations and budget options.

Bahía Príncipe Grand Tulum, Grupo Piñero resort in the Riviera Maya.
Bahía Príncipe Grand Tulum, Grupo Piñero resort in the Riviera Maya.

The tour operator Soltour offers a package, which can be contracted at travel agencies, with airline flights World2Fly. There are different accommodation options and prices. For example, in the resorts of Bahia Principe. These are four large hotels (of different categories) connected to each other, allowing guests to enjoy the services, restaurants and shows of the resorts.

This hotel, inspired by nature and the roots and origins of Tulum, offers an environment where it is common to encounter a variety of animals, such as raccoons and coatis, during your stay.

Or in the package there is the option of hiring a very exclusive hotel, the Secrets Moxché Playa del Carmenadults only, which has 485 suites.